Summer never seems quite long enough, and who wants to be stuck inside cooking, right? So, say hello to these easy picnic food ideas. From cool refreshing drinks to hot dogs and salad, we’ve got something for everyone. Toss them together, pack them up, and go enjoy summer.
Keep it cool
Making this to go? Mix up the frappe and pour it into your Corkcicle tumbler, where it will stay cool for hours. Picnics here were come!
Hot dogs and fixins’ make a picnic
You’ve got plenty of options with these perfect hot dogs. Pack up your portable grill and bring it along, build an open fire, or steam them at home, tuck them in the bun, wrap in foil and head out.
Don’t forget your veggies
Yes, you need side dishes and vegetables–even on a picnic. The potato salad recipe here is perfect picnic food because it’s easy to make, and there are no eggs or mayonnaise involved, meaning it can sit at a picnic without fear of making anyone sick. In a hurry? Toss together a container of raw vegetables, a bag of potato chips, and this easy dill dip.
Fire up your smoker
We know. Smoking ribs, turkey legs, or a whole pork shoulder sounds a bit ambitious for a picnic. Rest assured, all of these can be prepared at home with minimal effort, then packed up and enjoyed al fresco. (and don’t tell us the idea of sitting under a shady tree munching away on a big ole beef rib doesn’t bring out the Fred Flinstone in you!)
Not interested in smoking? Try these simple grab & go picnic foods
Everyone loves chicken salad, so reach for this cooling Vietnamese-style chicken salad. It’s simple-to-assemble salad of cabbage, chicken, cilantro, and dressing that keeps well for several days in the fridge. It’s authentic through and through thanks to its notes of sour, sweet, salty, and heat.
We also have this lovely open-face egg salad sandwich is just as creamy as the classic but calls for nothing but yogurt, garlic, chives, and, natch, eggs. It’s not at all your mother’s egg salad sandwich. Not. At. All.
Don’t forget macaroni salad! This confetti pasta salad with yogurt dressing is an easy-peasy summer salad. Fusilli, bell peppers, celery, onions, and olives are tossed with a dressing made from tangy Greek yogurt. Who says pasta salads are so 1990s?
Who can resist buffalo chicken, right? No one. Surprise your family and guests with this buffalo chicken dip, which is made with three types of cheese, shredded chicken, and buffalo sauce, is served in a hollowed-out Italian loaf.
Every picnic needs dessert–and every dessert deserves a picnic
Don’t head out on your picnic without something sweet. This easy icebox cake (which David has whipped up every Saturday for the past three weeks) is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, as are the chocolate chip cookies. but if you’re short on time, slice up a watermelon and grab your salt shaker, or toss in a package of store-bought cookies.
Originally published June 4, 2022